38th FIPP World Magazine Congress receives an “overwhelming” response in India

With 700 delegates, of which 50 per cent travelled from 48 different countries to be in India, the 38th FIPP World Magazine Congress has received a very encouraging response in India. In a conversation with exchange4media, Congress’ Chairman Ashish Bagga, said, “The response is overwhelming, and it reflects the fact that India is the destination of the future for our industry.”

e4m by Noor Fathima Warsia
Updated: Oct 12, 2011 9:25 AM
38th FIPP World Magazine Congress receives an “overwhelming” response in India

With 700 delegates, of which 50 per cent travelled from 48 different countries to be in India, the 38th FIPP World Magazine Congress has received a very encouraging response in India. In a conversation with exchange4media, Congress’ Chairman Ashish Bagga, said, “The response is overwhelming, and it reflects the fact that India is the destination of the future for our industry.”

He elaborated, “India is an opportunity in the waiting. Given what Mr (Aroon) Purie (FIPP Chairman and Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group) and Minister Ambika Soni said in terms of India being multicultural, multilingual and boasting of a demographic of a young population, India is a great destination for the media industry, especially for the potential it holds for the print industry.”

Bagga summarised the conversations of the day that magazine was the only medium that had the potential for the future, in a scale and manner that no other media could offer. “We engage more than any other media – everything else is superficial. Magazine is the most intelligent and rich form of content. We have community, engagement and our readers live our lives and the magazines live their lives,” he explained.

An important point that he made was that even as magazines represented a wide spectrum from the depiction of people as they are, to the high-end luxury and aspiration, people look up to magazines for integrity and credibility. For him, the fact that no other media could understand brands and emote brands like magazines was the medium’s key differentiator.

He said, “The key line for magazines is living the brand experience is. Newspapers cannot make it happen until they are ‘magazine-ised’ because you have to have that kind of picture, paper, the storytelling that magazines offer.”

Digital is the opportunity in this domain too but global leaders reminded that magazines that have grown are the ones that have been deeply rooted in the print too. Bagga observed, “In time, print would have to transform to digital and everyone understands that but today is a very happy coexistence of digital and print. There is opportunity for print in digital just as there is opportunity for digital in print.”

But India will continue to be the unique market. Given growth in literacy rate, which is still only at 73 per cent in India, print will grow, and magazines will benefit from it but technology is advancing in India at a fast pace too and that is reflective in India being one of the largest markets for technology based media owners such as Facebook and Google amongst others. Bagga concluded, “There is a big opportunity for digital in India but a bigger opportunity for print. They will mutually exist and fuel each other but brands that make a difference, in terms of integrity and value to consumer, are the ones that will prosper.”

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